Kais Saied freezes all parliamentary activities, lifts immunity of all MPs and dismisses PM [Upd 1]
26/07/2021 08:48, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - President of the Republic Kaïs Saïed decided after consultation with the Parliament Speaker and the Prime Minister, in pursuance of Article 80 of the Constitution, to freeze all activities of the Parliament.

"The first decision I should have taken months ago regards the parliament. It is to suspend all its activities."

The Constitution, he explained, "does not provide for its dissolution, but does not prevent the suspension of its activities either."

The second decision, he added, is to lift the parliamentary immunity of all MPs and to prosecute those among them who are involved in judicial proceedings, announcing that he will henceforth head the Public Prosecutor's Office.

In an address to Tunisians, broadcast on Watanyia 1 national TV channel, Kaïs Saïed said that the third decision is that the President of the Republic will take over the executive power, helped by a government headed by a Prime Minister appointed by the President of the Republic. A set of other decisions in the form of decree-laws will follow, in compliance with the Constitution in order to save the State and restore social peace, he indicated.

The Prime Minister is accountable to the President of the Republic. The president appoints ministers on the proposal of the prime minister and chairs the Cabinet meeting unless he decides to delegate this mission to the PM. This is not a suspension of the Constitution nor a breach of constitutional legitimacy, Kaïs Saïed insisted.

But if the law becomes a tool for settling scores or a weapon in the hands of crooks who have despoiled the funds of the State and an impoverished people, then it no longer expresses the people's will. Those who are planning to resort to arms to undermine the state and its symbols will have to face the national army and the security forces.

Those who plan to have recourse to weapons to undermine the State and its symbols will have to face the National Army and the security forces, he insisted. He added that these measures had been taken as a last resort, despite the fact that all the constitutional conditions have been met.

"The Tunisian people are continuing their revolution in legitimacy," the president pointed out. "I will no longer be satisfied with observing what is happening, I must shoulder the responsibility and I have done so. I have chosen to stand by the people. Other measures will follow as the situation develops," he stated.

Saied warned that for those who are preparing to mobilise the inhabitants of certain neighbourhoods and incite them to acts of looting, I will say that the law is above all and will be applied firmly.

Article 80 of the Constitution provides that in the event of imminent danger threatening the national integrity, security or independence of the country and hindering the regular functioning of the public authorities, the President of the Republic may take the measures required by a state of emergency after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Parliament Speaker and after informing the President of the Constitutional Court.

He shall announce these measures in a statement to the people. The aim of these measures must be to guarantee as soon as possible, the return to the regular functioning of the public authorities. During this period, the Parliament is considered to be in a standing session. In this situation, the President of the Republic may not dissolve it and no censure motion may be presented against the Government.

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